16 December 2010

Joy To The World

Here we go again...

Another year has almost passed and many people are getting ready to wind down for a well-earned Christmas holiday break. Please note: I did not say rest ... because for most, restful is not what this next few weeks is really all about. It’s a time of busyness and getting everything “done by Christmas” ... a crazy notion that rears its ugly head every year about this time. And as the deadline looms, people become more anxious and joy, peace and love fly out the window.

Recognise anyone you know?

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can put joy, peace and love right back into the mix if you are willing to stop ... take a breath ... and relax ... and choose ...

Remember, this time of year (like every other time) is whatever YOU decide it is for you. It’s a perfect time to decide how you would like to be in relationship to anyone and everyone no matter what else is going on. It’s an ideal time to heal old hurts and resolve old conflicts - particularly with family - and it’s a time when you can choose a different response to the one you had last year (or last century!)

Of course you always have this choice and there is something about this time of year that makes it easier. People are more aware of the importance of being kind and acting with love and compassion - peace and goodwill towards all men - and this has a snowball effect ... the more you give love and joy the more love and joy you get to experience and the more you give, the more you receive.

Choose to give joy, peace and love to yourself, to the ones you love and to the ones you don’t this Christmas and experience the miracle of giving joy to the world.

"Every time you smile at someone it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."

Mother Theresa

24 November 2010

Being Safe Is Not a Feeling

When I was being trained and mentored in the early 1980’s I was determined to adopt the new paradigm fully in all of my living. I saw the power and possibility inherent in “I Create The Whole of My Own Reality.”. I loved the idea but very little real experience of being response-able for the whole of myself, let alone the whole of my own reality. I was anxious much of the time about opening up and sharing how I really felt, particularly when I didn’t like something or someone. At the beginning of my journey to consciousness and love, although I was eager and willing to be response-able, time and time again I would react, withhold and either run away or push away ... hard! The infantile not-good-enough stuff was a strong protective mechanism and I didn’t ever really feel safe.

Over the past 28 years I have worked with this paradigm, shared it and lived it as best I can every day. Some days are sweeter than others and yet I know everything is purposeful and beautiful - no matter how I feel about or even what I do. I have settled into this new paradigm of love, choice, truth and responsibility more and more as each day passes and I can honestly say that life is glorious and I am happy, content and relaxed for the most part.

Then whammo! Last week I created a powerful confrontation that lead to a breakthrough that took my breath away. It began in February when I withheld from one of my trainees how I was really feeling about something because I did not feel safe to go there. Over the course of this whole year, everytime we interacted, the feeling would resurface and I would withhold, push away and react in subtle (and sometimes) not so subtle ways. I kept telling myself ... ”detach, it doesn’t matter” ... and I would feel ok ... for a little while. I thought I was being clear and explicit in my communication and yet the feedback I received told me this was not so. I thought I was being response-able by responding to the content yet without shifting my context (from fear to love), nothing much changed. The result of all of my fear-ful behaviours surfaced in an intense and powerfully liberating interaction with my trainee, in the training room, on the final day of training.

The courage and commitment to love and truth from everyone in the room was palpable and full. We were completely embraced and held in love and encouraged to open up and tell the whole truth. So we both began to to express what was really going on, to open up and go to the heart of the matter ... and we stayed in the room. It was simply amazing. At one point I felt I couldn’t handle it and I said “I want you to leave!” I am so glad the courageous response was a firm and clear “No!” This enabled me to sit in my extreme fear and keep going to the heart of my truth and feelings . I have never felt so vulnerable and yet the more I let go and shared the more I realised I actually was safe and I felt safe. Not emotionally but rather the visceral, full knowing and awareness that I am safe. WOW! This is what I have been teaching and choosing and sometimes fleetingly feeling over the years - Fear really is an illusion - I am safe.

I felt peace and love in deeper measure than ever before. A profound awareness of connection, at-one-ment and joy poured from everyone in the room and I knew this was an experience over which I will never get and for that I am truly grateful.

"Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other."


25 October 2010

People Behaving "Badly"

What’s going on in the world today? Why are so many people showing up behaving in ways that are completely antithetical to who we really are?

On a global scale we are witnessing ongoing conflicts and wars in many regions, people killing each other and being killed. On a local level we are witnessing increasing violence and deaths - on the roads, from drugs and alcohol abuse and the systemic physical, emotional and mental abuse occurring in many communities and families. Then we have the insidious “little” things that people keep doing ... lying, cheating, stealing, running away and denying responsibility for their actions and the consequences. We see it with our political leaders (Question Time In Parliament anyone?), with our business leaders and in our own selves.

Is it just the “human condition” (as someone recently assured me it really is!) or is there something going on that invites and encourages man’s inhumanity to man?

Well I think that ‘bad” behaviour comes from unconsciousness, disconnection and lack of awareness of who we really are and the fact that as human beings we are all connected. We are all brothers and sisters under the skin and the fact that we are being human is what makes us all the same. The notion of “us and them” is a devisive belief system guaranteed to foster fear of differences and the need to be right. It’s this very notion that keeps us stuck in conflict and polarity, fighting for what we believe is “right” and “good” against those we judge as “wrong’, “bad” etc. The problem with this belief system is that no one ever really “wins”. It’s a relentless paradigm of power and control offering no sustainable peaceful outcome. As long as we continue to see ouseleves as separate from each other we will continue to behave in fearful ways resulting in painful and inhumane behaviours.

The simple solution in this new paradigm of ultimate cause is to wake yourself up! and remember who you are ... magnificent, lovable, valuable, powerful, creative being able to choose. Simple and not so easy. It requires discipline and practise...and constant conscious reminding that you have a choice about how you show up, how you think and feel and behave in every moment no matter what went before. When you accept that you are love and so is everyone else, that you are connected to everyone and everything all of the time ... when you decide to live your life every day with this awareness you will experience the joy and wonder of being at peace while doing what you know from love.

"A very effective way to become conscious of Being is simply to take the focus of your attention away from thinking and direct it into the body, where Being can be felt as the invisible energy field that gives life to what you perceive as the physical body."

Eckhart Tolle

28 September 2010

The Biggest Lie

Here’s a universal truth ... everyone lies. You lie, I lie, we all lie. The reasons, justifications and excuses for lying appear to be many and varied, with some considered “good” and valid while others are considered completely unacceptable ... until you look a little deeper and realise that the human propensity for lying comes from the same fundamental source ... yep ... you guessed it, the not good enough stuff ... again!

You say you lie to spare someone’s feelings, to not cause an upset or a row, to avoid conflict or confrontation, to keep the peace, to be perceived as nice, polite and appropriate ... and on and on and on. When you examine what’s going on under the surface you will see that one of the key reasons you avoid telling the truth is you don’t want to feel guilty, wrong, to blame, upset etc. You don’t want others to feel “bad” because if they feel “bad” as a result of you telling your truth you think you are to blame, and then you feel “bad”. All this because you don’t want to/know how to deal with a messy, emotionally charged reaction. This usually occurs because you are scared to confront your own feelings - to feel them and respond to them and let them go. So the lying continues and everyone knows.

This brings me to the biggest lie of all ... the lie about who you really are and what’s really possible for every human being. When you keep agreeing with the old story about how you are not really good enough yet (but you will be one day), you keep yourself stuck in the lying and withholding game. And the biggest lie of all is your idea that you are somehow flawed and not quite good enough yet ... but with enough work and effort, you could get better! Not true!

The truth about you (and every human being) is that you are already perfect. Perfectly you, perfectly capable of choosing what to think, how to feel and what to do every moment of every moment. Aware that in every moment, you have a choice. And one choice you could make is the choice to accept that you are OK the way you are. There’s nothing “wrong” with you that needs fixing and there are certainly different choices you could make about how you think and the meaning you give everything; about how you feel and how you respond to yourself and others. You have a choice about how you show up in the world every moment of every moment. And that’s the truth.

"The truth you speak has no past and no future.
It is and that’s all it needs to be."

Richard Bach, Illusions

24 August 2010

How To Listen

In my work with people, I have noticed the same theme keeps showing up irrespective of the particular content or person or group.

Lately this theme has been: “He/she/they are not listening to me!” When I explore further I usually find someone who is not happy with the response/feedback being elicited about a particular issue, usually with a high emotional trigger and sticky attachment to a particular outcome. Unfortunately, this dynamic never works to produce a result that anyone wants!

So what’s really going on when it comes to being listened to? What has it got to do with listening? And why is it that some people seem to listen and some people don’t? Well the key is in two simple questions: What are you actually listening to? And how do you expect the other/s to respond?

Believe it or not, it all starts and ends with you. If you are attached to a particular outcome then chances are you are “listening” to the agenda running in your head, your feelings about it all and what you will say in response to their (inevitable) reaction. When this is what you are doing internally, then there is not much being there with the other person or people, not much (if any) paying attention to the whole of what’s going, not much real awareness or connection with the whole. When you are focussed on getting a particular outcome (and ONLY that outcome) then you miss critical pieces of information in the communication. And when that happens, you cannot respond fully to what’s going on because you are only seeing/hearing/feeling part of the whole.

If you want people to listen to you, first you need to be responsible for what you are listening to - internally and externally. Let the other know the response you want from them and then listen to what comes back. If you elicit a response (usually a reaction) you do not like, ask what the person has “heard” (i.e. what meaning they have put on your communication) and then state explicitly what you mean.

Say what you mean, ask what the other means and keep responding until the communication is complete. When you begin to change your own dynamic around listening you will discover that more and more people seem to be listening!

"Who you are is shouting so loud that I can’t hear what you are saying."

Stephen Covey

27 July 2010

No Regrets

I have just celebrated my birthday and (as I usually do in the weeks prior) I spent some time reflecting on the past year and acknowledging what I had created and experienced. I started thinking about things I had let go of and relationships that have changed and I felt a stab of regret. Wondering if I could have made some different choices and had some different outcomes, wondering a lot of “if only ...” and “what if...” and I felt sad. And rather than push it aside, “cheer myself up” or distract myself, I decided to sit in my regret and see what emerged.

I felt flat and unmotivated to do very much and it took about a week before my energy shifted. When it did, I realised that my regret came from not owning my choice in the first place. Not being responsible for choosing what I had chosen meant I felt like I “should” have done something different. When I reflected upon my choices at the time, they were the best choices I felt I could make. In the moment of choosing, I made my choice from the whole of what was going on for me at the time. My choices are always the best I can do in the moment and no amount of regret will change what has already occurred.

What will change what happens next is how I respond, what my next choice is and If my next choice is informed out of fear from the past, I’ll probably end up regretting it later too! However, if my next choice is informed out of my loving vision of possibility, out of my decision to BE who I choose to BE, while I do whatever I choose to do ... then regret has no space to show up.

I felt a huge shift in my energy and peace reigned once more. The icing on the cake (couldn’t resist!) was my birthday ... cards, flowers, emails, text messages, phone calls, gifts and lots of hugs, acknowledgment and great food with dear friends. And I felt grateful for being me, the way I am today ... no regrets.

"To regret the past is to forfeit the future."

Chinese Proverb

30 June 2010

What Did You Expect?

Last Thursday was an historic day here in Australia - at 9:20am on 24/06/2010 we were told (first via Twitter and Facebook) that we have a new Prime Minster, Julia Gillard. That she is our first female PM is what makes this a monumental day in Australian federal politics. That she is replacing a PM during his very first term in office is also historic - last time this happened was during the Great Depression (hmmm...)

Also interesting the number of reactions I have encountered this morning in person and via email and text. Lots of people are outraged and upset that they didn’t get to vote for Julia direct. Clearly that’s what some of you expect ... that you have a right to say WHO leads. But that's not what elections are for - a least not in this country which is part of the Commonwealth. The notion that we, the people, get to elect a specific person as PM is erroneous in our political paradigm which is based in the Westminster system of party politics not personality politics. The confusing thing for a lot of Australians right now is that the ALP ran a US-style "presidential campaign" - Kevin '07 - and lots of voters forgot they were voting for the whole party not just the man himself. Now that the ALP has realised the man they chose is no longer the golden-haired favourite (shown by the polls) the power brokers in the back room did what they always do (on both sides ...) and forced the issue. They forced the issue now because they want the ALP to win a second term and the numbers clearly showed that with Kevin at the helm this would not happen. This is the political game that has been played for centuries so why are people so upset? Because we expected something different and instead got the same old, same old ...

That the world is run by those that have the most influence and clout is still how it works. That we think/feel it “should” be different is immaterial. That it will change is inevitable and we have a huge opportunity to influence how it changes - by continuing to have the conversations that make a difference, by using the technology to connect with people everywhere and by choosing to step-up and speak up and engage from love not fear.

What I love is that we now have women in 5 of the top political jobs in our country - our new PM, The Governor General, The Governor of NSW and The Premiers of NSW and QLD. WOW! This is what my mother told me was possible when I was a teenager ... and here we are with a woman as the leader of our nation. I believe these girls have the opportunity to rock the house if they would only lead from their feminine and bring that energy to bear on our world stage.

Expectation - a prescription for disappointment.

20 May 2010

Asking For Help

When was the last time you asked someone for help? I know you probably give a lot but when did you last ask and allow someone to help you?

Some years ago, I became aware of my own reluctance to ask for help. I told myself it didn't matter and really it didn't ... until it did. I began to notice the mind chatter that said: "I should be able to handle this myself" and "Asking for help shows I'm not ok". I became aware of an old, very firmly-held belief insisting that asking for help was a symbol of weakness - not good enough - and an inability to cope with life. With that firmly in place I stumbled about, ignoring lots of help along the way and doing it by myself! Not much difference.

Whenever I did ask for help (but not too much mind you!)I noticed I always asked indirectly. Then rather than simply open myself to receive what was offered, I went into hyper-control mode around how, what, when, where and with whom I would allow myself to be helped! You know what I mean ... the whole "yes, but..." conversation! It was not very satisfying ... for anyone.

I then realised asking indirectly for help came from a belief that if I was really explicit and clear about what I actually wanted/needed, I would be perceived as asking for too much. The thought of actually paying someone to help me was (in my mind) absolute proof that I was not ok. The net result of this behaviour: I did not get what I really wanted and the person (or people) helping me were also left feeling unappreciated. Then the "Ah hah!" moment: The "not good enough" stuff was still running the show and we all know how that works out ... more "not good enough" and the game continued.

When I finally asked for help to change this pattern I saw and felt the old paradigm of fear ... the fear that I was still somehow "not good enough" to have what I want. After about 12 months of regular counselling/coaching, I had more and more experience that it’s not true! I was encouraged and supported to remember who I am, to choose to ask for and receive help the same way I give it - openly, honestly, directly, clearly and completely. When I started asking directly for what I wanted, the old feelings still came up, but rather than agree with them, I chose to breathe and let go and remember who I am. And the more I practise, the easier it gets.

Today asking for help and receiving it is as satisfying as giving it.

"If you are alive you need help."

Ben Renshaw

28 April 2010

Being Grounded!

Don’t you just love Mother Nature? She certainly knows how to get everyone’s attention and when she’s angry, she let’s us know! Take the latest natural disaster to affect the world: Iceland’s erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano. (And no, I can’t pronounce it either!)

The impact has been significant for people all over the world - from stranded passengers to airlines (and many other businesses) losing vast amounts of money to whole countries (like Kenya) in fiscal jeopardy because they are unable to sell/export perishables like fruit, vegetables and flowers before they rot.
One of the hardest things for people to deal with in a situation like this is how to make sense of it when there is no one to blame or make wrong. How do you see the benefit or value in a situation that seems random and unfair and with no known end or outcome assured?

Well, I look at what is going on from at least two viewing platforms - my personal perspective and my world view - and ask myself: “What is the benefit in this, what is the gift, what is really going on here?”.

From my personal perspective, the benefit for me in this event happening now is that I am not travelling much at all this year. I made a decision last year to stop all long-haul travel (more than 3 hours) for a while. And I am glad I did! I am happy to stay on the ground and use the available technology to stay connected. I also feel that a strong message for me is “Stay put, stay grounded and trust the process”. So rather than wonder and worry about when it’s going to end, I choose to stop, take a breath and remember that whatever is happening is always perfect and that things will change and keep changing.

From my world view, what’s really going on here is that I feel that we are being asked to wake up from our self-involved slumber and become aware that everything is connected; to accept that whatever happens to you, has an impact on me and that the way to create peace and harmony is to co-operate with each other with loving kindness rather than fighting out of righteous anger and fear. And when things like this happen, we do step-up and help each other, we do co-operate rather than compete and we get through.

Like I said, gotta love Mother Nature!

"Everything is part of everything else. There is nothing which does not belong. Perfection is everywhere, in everything, all the time ... no matter how you feel about it."

30 March 2010

The Power of Conflict

If there never was any conflict there would never be any change or growth. And if nothing ever changed or grew there would ultimately be … nothing.

I work with small business owners and their teams supporting them to create business cultures that are truly open, honest, loving and responsive. Of course this usually requires some disruption to the status quo: “I won‘t tell you what I can see, if you don‘t tell me what you can see”.

The notion that keeping quiet; not saying what you really feel/think/know; avoiding having the hard conversations and going all the way is acceptable or appropriate because it avoids conflict is a fiction. It is a closed and defensive way of thinking, feeling and being and ultimately creates more fear and more anxiety … not less. The choice to avoid being open and honest because you fear the response/reaction you will get comes from the same fearful thinking that created the issue in the first place. And in that fearful place there is no resolution.

In order to create open and honest communication as a cultural norm, you have to be willing to deal with conflict as it arises and sometimes even actively facilitate it. This means being willing to say what you can see, feel, and know, to stay in the conversation until it is complete and to BE present and aware and responding to what‘s really going on until the energy shifts and peace prevails … and it will … when you go all the way.

When you accept conflict as a natural and integral part of the process of transformation and welcome it as an opportunity to tell and hear the whole truth, you will discover the power of conflict to create peace.


"It‘s not whether you have conflict in your life … it‘s what you do with conflict that makes a difference … Nature uses conflict as a motivator for change, creating beautiful mountains, beaches and pearls."

Tom Crum

24 February 2010

Getting Better Is Not An Option

Your insidious habit of judging yourself and others is the super glue that keeps you stuck in your own process and in your life. The notion that somehow, some way you can do a bunch of stuff to get better (or that someone else can) is simply nonsense … at least it's nonsense from the point of view of the paradigm of ultimate cause: I Create The Whole of My Own Reality, with love and wisdom always.

The idea that you (and others) are not okay the way you are and that you need to get better is a value judgement pure and simple. And value judgements are absolutely subjective and no more true than anything else you make up. When you agree with your own infernal, internal judge, chattering away about how you are not good enough … yet … there is always more you can do to get better … you are destined to ride the roller coaster of “stuff-esteem” and all the emotional blah-jang that goes with it. Not to mention how exhausting it can be!

Want to get off this ride?

Start by observing the internal dialogue and start noticing how quickly you want to agree with it … then don’t! Realise that the thoughts and feelings you have about yourself and others are simply that … your thoughts and your feelings - made up out of your filters - informed by your perceptions - occurring as a result of your value judgements and that they are no more real or true than anything else you can make up. Then make up some stuff you enjoy.

Choose to perceive everything and everyone through a filter of love rather than fear … choose to experience that you are okay and so is everyone else … choose to agree with the idea that everyone is always doing the best they can and what’s needed is awareness and compassion and love; not condemnation and criticism … choose to be your own divine self in relationship to everything and everyone, including yourself!, all the time. Choose to respond from love and enjoy the ride … !


"If you’re not all right the way you are, it takes a lot of effort to get better. Realise you are all right the way you are and you’ll get better naturally."

Werner Erhard

20 January 2010

Stop It!

2010 has arrived and with it the promise of ever accelerating change. And there is no better time than right now to start some new habits … but first you have to stop some old ones:

Drop the not good enough stuff
It’s not true. It’s simply a game you made up when very small to keep you safe and it has now served its purpose. You are here, you have survived and now you have much more awareness than that wounded child so time to let it go.

When you are running the not good enough stuff, your communication is informed by the context of seeking/needing agreement/approval to feel safe and ok. No way will you reveal your deeper truth with this going on, no way you will be open and available if you are seeking approval … and without openness and honesty, communication sucks. The not good enough stuff is the single biggest communication killer around … time to get over it … really.

Not everything that comes into your head needs to come out of your mouth:
Get to the heart of your truth and find out what’s really going on. Most of the monkey chatter between your ears is simply your reactive, judgemental, critical, ego-centric voice doing its job – which is to keep you separate from who you really are. Stop agreeing with the thoughts in your head and start coming from the love in your heart. Go into the deeper parts of yourself and enquire as to what’s really going on for you … and speak that out loud.

Say what you mean and mean what you say:
Stop pussy-footing around and say what you really mean. Be explicit and clear not wishy-washy and passive/aggressive. Don’t ask a question when you really just want to make a statement or express something. If you have something to say, say it and then respond to what comes back. If you want/need help … ask for what you want … exactly. And if you are only willing to accept a “yes’ response … don’t ask. The more explicit you are, the more your communication and your relationships will flow.


"Say what you mean and mean what you say..."

Interstate 60